Joe "The Advisor" Benjamin

Academic Counselor/Coordinator for Students in Transition

Joe Benjamin holding plush gator

What is your approach to advising?
I believe in meeting students halfway—meaning that advisors may show them the tools, resources and strategies for success, but the student has to also invest in their own success by learning and comprehending those methods.

B.A. Interdisciplinary Science (a mix of Astrophysics/Earth Sciences—modelled after the S.E.T.I. Project)
M.A. Education: Educational Technology Leadership Emphasis

How did you get here?
Started off as an SFSU Orientation Peer Advisor (AKA "GatorAider"), taught high school chemistry and biophysical science, then came back as a full-time academic advisor for the UAC and Orientation Office once more—making a complete circle! 

What's your favorite part of your job?
Working one-on-one with the students—building a rapport with them over time, seeing them through the rough spots when needed, and finally, receiving the declaration that they are about to graduate. I still hear from a lot from my former students on social media that have moved on and have shared many career and family successes. 

What's the best class you've ever taken?
A "Space, Time & Relativity" physics course I took from Dr. Posin—a professor that not only borrowed Einsteins teachings, but also his hair style! Dr. Posin actually met Einstein and may have studied under him for a time. 

Most unusual job you ever had?
Running a pen and paper role-playing game with eight kids full-time for a week in the summer. Or, working on an assembly line at the NUMMI car factory (Fremont, CA) for two summers while as an undergraduate.

About me (likes and hobbies)
Science, cosmology, conscience and existential philosophy, life hacks, inspirational quotes, alternative education, game development, industrial design, Sci-Fi and Fantasy genres, and pen & paper role-playing games (inquire, if interested!) I am also interested in making YouTube videos on Keto recipes. 

Who are my favorite celebrities?
Neil deGrasse Tyson, Trevor Noah, Dave Chappelle and Will Smith

What is your favorite book?
"God's Debris" by Scott Adams, creator of the Dilbert comic strip. It's a deep, philosophical journey through a fictional thought experiment seen through the eyes of a soon-to-be-awakened delivery person who is shown—by a "man" known as "The Avatar"—the consequences of what happens when an omnipotent entity (supposedly out of sheer curiosity) decides to test the limits of its power. This story will change how you see the UNIVERSE!

What advice do you have for SF State Gators?
BUILD YOUR SUCCESS TEAM! Surround yourself with like-minded and supportive individuals—but DO NOT create a "bubble"! At the same time, venture out of your comfort zone to explore ideas and experiences would normally pass you by. GET INVOLVED! Immerse yourself in whatever you have passion for—this is the fuel you need to carry you through a successful career and a happier life.